Information for New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to the School of International Service! We are excited that you will be joining us in the upcoming semester. On this page, you will find some information to help you prepare before you arrive. Please feel free to contact SIS Graduate Advising if you have any questions.

New students for Spring 2019 may schedule an appointment with their advisor beginning November 12 and register for classes for fall beginning November 19. Please see below for registration instructions for spring 2019. New students will also receive registration information via email from our office beginning in early-November.  

  1. Review the Advising Worksheet outlining your program requirements.  
  2. Review first semester course suggestions specific to your program and the registration instructions sent to you via email.
  3. Review the Schedule of Classes for upcoming course offerings.
  4. Plan your schedule and register via Eagle Service-Student Planning in your myAU Portal.

    New students will register for classes after continuing graduate students, so new students may find some courses have already filled. Therefore, we encourage students to register as soon as possible. Students are not required to meet with an advisor prior to registering.
  5. (Optional) Review registration FAQs.
  6. (Optional) Schedule an advising appointment

Spring 2019 Orientation

SIS will host a required Orientation for newly admitted graduate students for spring 2019 on Thursday, January 10. More information will be sent to students later this fall.

Any questions regarding orientation should be sent to sisgradorientation@american.edu.

Spring 2019 Students

As you wait for spring classes to begin, check out the exciting opportunities you will have during your time here at SIS. Consider options such as studying abroad, choosing a practicum as a potential capstone option in your second year, and completing rigorous skills institutes throughout your program of study. 

First Semester Course Suggestions

Full-time graduate students usually take 9 credit hours per semester, typically three, 3-credit courses. SIS does not typically recommend that students register for more than 3 classes in any semester. Please note that international students holding F or J visas must register full-time (9 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters). All students with university merit awards (scholarships and assistantships) should refer to their admissions/award letter for specific registration requirements. In order to be eligible for U.S. federal student loans, students must be registered at least half-time (5 credit hours in the fall/spring semesters; 2 credit hours in the summer).

First-semester students in the Comparative and Regional Studies program are encouraged to take:

  1. One regional concentration course (for a list of approved regional courses, please see your CRS Program Blackboard course*)
  2. One thematic concentration course (for a list of approved thematic courses, please see your CRS Program Blackboard course*)
  3. One of the following:
  • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  • an economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all CRS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for CRS.

Students in Development Management (DM) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and the Action Research Practicum in their final semester(s). DM students who begin in the spring semester usually enroll in:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-726 Professional Development Management
  3. One of the following:
  • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  • An economics course (see below)
  • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
  • A concentration course.

There are two required economics courses for DM students:

  1. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory*, and
  2. SIS-731 Economic Development.

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. All DM students are required to take SIS-731 Economic Development. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for DM.

First semester students in the Ethics, Peace and Human Rights program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-622 Human Rights
  2. PHIL-625 Seminar in Modern Moral Problems – rotating topics; offered every spring. Spring 2019 will be on Bioethics and the cluster of issues including public health, mental health and healthcare rights.
  3. One of the following:
    • A “choose-one” course in Philosophy, see the EPHR advising worksheet for a list of possible courses
    • An approved methodology course (Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses)
    • A course in your concentration if you have a clear focus for your concentration. We recommend that you discuss registration decisions regarding your concentration with your academic advisor. Students will be asked to declare their concentration at the end of their second semester of enrollment.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for EPHR.

Students in Global Environmental Policy are encouraged to focus on required core courses in their first semester. Full-time students should choose three of the following:

  • An economics course – ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory. Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam may substitute a higher-level economics course in place of ECON-603. All GEP students must take SIS-620 Environmental Economics.  Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  • A natural science course – Available options to satisfy the natural science requirement for Spring 2019 are ENVS-655 Environmental GIS; ENVS-670 Water Resources; and ENVS-696-001 Exploring the Arctic. 
  • A research methodology course - Students without a background in statistics are encouraged to take SIS-600 Int’l Affairs Statistics and Methods as one of their methodology courses. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for a full list of approved methods courses.
  • A Concentration course- if you have a clear focus for your concentration and there is a relevant course being offered in spring only. For example, LAW-618 International Environmental Law. Please contact your advisor if you wish to register for this course.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for GEP.

First semester students in the Global Governance, Politics, and Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. The foundations course associated with your chosen concentration: either SIS-619: Foundations of Global Security or SIS-619: Foundations of Global Governance
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Stats and Methods or an economics course

When selecting an economics course, please note that all GGPS students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

3. An approved course in your chosen concentration

Approved Global Security and Global Governance courses can be found on the GGPS Blackboard site. You should have already been enrolled in a course called “Global Governance, Politics, and Security Program.” Under “Concentration Courses” you will find the lists of approved courses

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the GGPS program.

First semester students in the Global Media program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  2. SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. A concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a concentration course, please consult with your academic advisor and faculty advisors.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for GM.

First semester students in the Intercultural and International Communication program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-642 Intercultural Relations
  2. One of the following:
  • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  • An economics course. When selecting an economics course, students may choose either ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, SIS-628-007 Communicating Economics to Non-Economists, or SIS-616 International Economics. (Students must pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam to waive ECON-603 as a pre-requisite and register for SIS-616. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam

3. A concentration course within the selected field of study. When choosing a concentration course, please consult with your academic advisor and faculty advisors.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IC.

Students in International Development (ID) typically satisfy their core requirements in their first semesters and focus on their areas of concentration and capstone requirements after completing the core. First semester students usually enroll in:

  1. SIS-637 International Development
  2. SIS-600 Int’l Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One of the following:
  • SIS-636 Micropolitics of Development
  • An Economics course (see below)
  • A course for the area of concentration or elective

These courses help lay the theoretical and methodological framework for the program.

There are two required economics courses:

  1. ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory*, and
  2. SIS-731 Economic Development.

* ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Mary Barton is the academic advisor for ID.

First semester students in the International Economics (IE) program are recommended to contact their advisor, Mike Rosenberger, for information regarding registration.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations program are encouraged to take:

  1. An economics course.

When selecting an economics course, please note that all IER students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. SIS-616: Int’l Economics requires prior experience with micro- and macroeconomics. Students must either pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam or complete ECON-603: Intro to Economics Theory prior to taking SIS-616: Int’l Economics. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

2. One of the “Choose Two” IER-related courses for the Spring 2019 semester. Please find the approved “Choose Two” courses for the spring semester on the IER EdSpace.

3. One research and professional methods course. Students with a background in statistics are encouraged to take ECON-623: Applied Econometrics I. (Please note, SIS students must have permission from the IER program director before they will be allowed to enroll.) Please see the IER program worksheet for a list of approved research and professional methods courses.

Please review the schedule of classes for course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER program.

First semester students in the International Economic Relations Certificate program are encouraged to take:

  1. ECON-603: Introduction to Economic Theory (Students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam are allowed to waive ECON-603 and register for SIS-616: Int’l Econ. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.
  2. SIS-600: International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  3. One SIS elective course. **Note: SIS-665: International Trade Relations is only offered during the fall semester and SIS-666: International Financial Relations is only offered during the spring semester. Both courses have a prerequisite of SIS-616.

Please review the schedule of classes for any course prerequisites. If a course has a prerequisite, please contact your academic advisor to determine how it can be waived.

Mike Rosenberger is the academic advisor for the IER Certificate program.

First semester students in the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-734 International Peace and Conflict Resolution Seminar II
  2. Two of the following:
  • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  • An economics course. Students may choose SIS-619 Economics of Violence and Peace, ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory, or SIS-616 International Economics. (Please note that students must pass the economics placement exam in order to waive the pre-requisite for SIS-616 Int’l Econ. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.)
  • A Gateway course associated with an IPCR concentration of interest. (Please note that the Gateway courses for the concentrations in International Negotiation and Culture, Identity & Peace are not offered in the spring semester).
  1. Reconciliation & Justice: SIS-613 Reconciliation & Justice
  2. Peacebuilding: SIS-735 Peacebuilding Theory & Organization
  • If you are certain of your core concentration focus, a course from the approved list associated with your chosen core concentration, which may be found on the back of the IPCR Advising Worksheet or on the IPCR EdSpace.

Students pursuing a dual-degree between IPCR and the Master of Arts in Teaching or the Master of Theological Studies should consult with their academic advisor when planning their course schedule.

Jessica MacArthur is the academic advisor for IPCR.

1L JDMA students will not begin taking courses in SIS until their 2L year. 2L and 3L JDMA students should contact their academic advisor for registration suggestions.

Students beginning the Master of International Service Executive degree program (MIS) in the spring semester are expected to take:

  1. The core course, SIS-686-001 Proseminar: International Affairs (3 credits; offered only in spring).  

In addition, they may register for one or two of the following:

  1. An Economics course (Chosen from the approved economics courses on the MIS advising worksheet)

OR

A Professional Research Methodology course (Approved course list is available on the SIS Graduate Advising website.)

  1. A Concentration course (Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS advising worksheet.)

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS.

Students in the Master of International Service degree program following the International Studies Track for students from international partner institutions should register for three courses in their first semester:

  1. A methods course, if required (see admissions letter for more information) or an economics course, if required (see admissions letter for more information)
  2. Two - three concentration courses (depending on required courses listed above)

Concentration courses may be chosen from any of the SIS graduate offerings depending upon the student’s individual interests and training needs. A list of suggested concentrations can be found on the back page of the MIS:IST advising worksheet.

Depending upon the number of credits of Advanced Standing awarded upon admission and whether a student is required to take an economics and/or methods course, students take between 9 and 15 credit hours in the concentration. *Skills institutes may only be taken toward the concentration if the student will take greater than 9 credits in their concentration.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for MIS:IST.

First semester students in the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development (NRSD) program are recommended to contact their academic advisor, Marley Crutcher, for information regarding registration.

The Master of Arts in Social Enterprise (SE) is a “cohort” program, meaning that students sequence through the required core courses together as each group of new students enters in the fall semester. Students entering SE in Spring 2019 should take:

  1. An introductory level economics course* (see below)

and/or

A methods course

  1. Two concentration or elective courses, planned in consultation with the Program Director. Students are strongly encouraged to consider
    1. SIS-635-004 NGO/Social Enterprise Management
    2. SIS-635-005 Private Sector Engagement with Societal Challenges

There are two required economics courses for SE students:

1)      ECON-603 Intro to Economic Theory* and

2)      A second approved upper level economics course.

The list of approved upper level/second economics courses for SE is found on the back page of the SE advising worksheet.

*ECON-603 is waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. If ECON-603 is waived, the degree is reduced from 42 credits to 39. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Amy Newell is the academic advisor for SE.

First-semester students in the United States Foreign Policy and National Security program are encouraged to take:

  1. SIS-689 Foreign Policy: Theories of Decision Making
  2. SIS-682 Foreign Policy: Institutions and Processes
  3. One of the following:
  • USFP “Choose Two” course (The approved USFP “Choose Two” courses for Spring 2019 are: SIS-653 Introduction to American Intelligence; SIS-688 Domestic Sources of USFP; SIS-653 Diplomatic Practice; SIS-653 Follow the Money: Resource Allocation and National Security; SIS-619 Comparative International Defense Policy and/or one of the following approved courses on USFP toward a region: SIS-653 USFP Toward Latin America; SIS-676 US-China Relations.)
  • History course (SIS-653 Continuity and Change in USFP)
  • SIS-600 International Affairs Statistics and Methods
  • A concentration course (if you have a clear focus for your concentration)
  • An economics course (see below)

When selecting an economics course, please note that all USFP students must complete SIS-616: International Economics. Students without a background in economics are required to take ECON-603 Introduction to Economic Theory before taking SIS-616. ECON-603 will be waived for students who pass the SIS Economics Placement Exam. Visit the SIS Graduate Advising website for more information regarding the SIS Economics Placement Exam.

Melanie Brisse is the academic advisor for USFP.